"Business is good," said Connie Wattenmacker, owner and broker of Sundial Realty of Southwest Florida located at 5598 8th St. in Unit 4. The realty firm faces Lee Boulevard, but motorists must enter from the rear on 8th St.
Wattenmacker has been selling real estate since 2003 and some months back opened her own business and she and her 12 agents are happy to show property to would-be homebuyers and investors.
"It's a good time to buy a home in Lehigh," Wattenmacker said. "We can work with people with questionable credit. We can negotiate things. There are a lot of homes on the market and investors are looking at many of them," she said.
Wattenmacker is an energetic "people person," friendly and always with a big smile on her face.
That personality rubs off on her 12 agents who all are members of the National Association of Realtors.
Wattenmacker was a broker for seven years at Century 21 Sunbelt where she said she worked for owner Barbara Watt, who is still active in the business.
"I learned so much from her," she said.
In addition to herself and her army of real estate agents, she said her husband, Terry, is a big help in the reality business, too.
"He handles all the technical aspects, like the computers, etc.," she said smiling as he walked into her office.
The Sundial Realty of Southwest Florida office is composed of some 1,400 square feet and the firm deals in residential, commercial and the rental business.
"While we have a dozen Realtors, including myself, we're adding another at this time and by the end of the year, our plans are to have 25 Realtors working for the public in selecting their homes in Lehigh," she said.
Sundial Realty of Southwest Florida is dedicated to offering the finest, most professional customer service in the industry, reads the "Mission Statement" of the company.
"As the sundial moves with the seasons, Sundial Realty of SW Florida will change with the seasons of real estate, staying informed on housing, mortgage, investment changes and the laws that govern the real estate industry," the mission statement goes on.
And to what Wattenmacker calls her dedicated agents, she said she vows to keep them up to date with the latest laws in the real estate market and show them in the same courtesy the firm would show its clients.
Terry not only helps in the office when called on by his wife or the agents. He also owns his own home inspector's business.
As for Wattenmacker's interest in real estate, it is sort of simple as to why she enjoys the business so much.
She loves looking at homes and she loves making it possible for people to own their own homes, and she is also a good adviser for those looking to buy a home.
"I always tell my clients to not over extend themselves. It is good advice to anyone buying a home," she said.
Home buying isn't as difficult as a lot of people think today. Wattenmacker said a mortgage isn't as difficult to get as a lot of people think.
"We work with USDA and there are ways to get a good mortgage if the buyer has a good credit score," she said.
"But most people can buy if they are responsible," Wattenmacker said.
As of this past week, she said there are 602 homes for sale in Lehigh Acres. That number can go up and down due to some homes still facing foreclosures.
She said she remembers well in 2003 that it was a struggle to find a home in Lehigh, but not now.
"They are very much affordable and the prices are going up slowly; so this is a great time to buy a home. And we are here to help make that possible," she said.
She noted that homes in Cape Coral are around 25 percent higher in price and in Fort Myers, they are around 15 percent higher in many places.
"Lehigh is still an affordable community to purchase a home, and the baby boomers are looking at properties here as are the speculators, who will buy homes and rent them out and may sell them when the prices go back up," she said.
She believes in Lehigh and says development will come back.
"I love this business and I love meeting people and helping them. That's what I enjoy most in life," she said. "And Lehigh is a great town to live in."